Mike Tyson believes that Anthony Joshua is already the biggest name in boxing.
Joshua officially announced himself on the world scene last weekend when he scored an 11th round stoppage against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko.
Watford-based Joshua now holds the WBA, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the back of his victory.
Such was the size of the event, which saw 90,000 people watch the action at Wembley Stadium with millions more around the world tuning in, Tyson believes Joshua is now the man everybody wants to watch.
Joshua’s next fight is yet to be decided, but WBC champion Deontay Wilder, WBO champion Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury are among the names being considered.
And he could yet face off against Klitschko in a rematch.
“With what Joshua can bring now everyone will want to fight him because he is bringing the money to the table,” Tyson told ESPN.
“After the Klitschko fight, nobody is going to want to watch Deontay Wilder or any of those guys. They won’t pay for it, they want the best and the best is Joshua.
“I really don’t think Deontay Wilder would be a good fight for Joshua, I’d much prefer to see him fight Mike Perez. He needs a couple more fights but that could be great to watch.”
Tyson admits that he did not know loads about Joshua before the fight with Klitschko – but insists he instantly became a fan after seeing him recover from the first knockdown in his career.
“It was a great fight,” Tyson said. “I had actually picked Klitschko to win as I thought this was just some jumped-up young guy from England. But man he fought well. Klitschko is 41 and no-one has ever done that to him.
“Importantly, he showed heart. He took a big punch from Klitschko and went down but he got back up. He showed real intestinal fortitude.
“He’s consistent, persistent and he didn’t give up. There’s no quitting in him.
“I love that he goes out there to hurt his opponent, too. That’s what boxing is all about but most fighters just don’t have that hunger.”
Tyson also believes that he can see the comparisons between himself and Joshua.
He said: “I see the comparison, sure. If you are of an Afro-English background you’re likely to have a tough time; if you’re born in the wrong part of town it’s always going to be rough. You’re going to be financially challenged, scholastically challenged. It was like that for me and it’s like that now.
“Boxing gives kids – like me, like Joshua – an outlet. You can take a guy with nothing, clean them up and next thing he’s meeting the President of the United States or the Prime Minister of the UK. It’s a great leveller.”
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